Why Bother Being Curious?
When I was a kid, Dad read bedtime stories before tucking us into bed at night. It was my favorite time of the day. I’d lie down next to him on the white shag rug in the girls’ bedroom, and pay close attention as he read stories from a large volume of fairy tales or from one of our other preferred choices. One of my sisters loved the account of, The Curious Little Owl.
The little owl in this particular narration did not cry out “who, who, who” like all the other owls. Instead, he said “why, why, why?”
Everyone is born with a sense of curiosity, but sometimes, as adults, our inquisitiveness is dampened. At times, I hesitate to ask why, why, why because I do not want to look ignorant. Other times, I’ve been accused of overstepping, intruding, or being a busybody.
Some people are not comfortable when I ask them questions, yet without doing so, how will I get my questions answered? Without wondering out loud, how will I discover anything new? Without inquiring, how will I learn?
When I exercise my curiosity, my mindset switches gears. It is as though having an investigative mind energizes my brain. For example, when I want to know how I might do something differently, better, or more effectively, my curiosity moves me toward exploring other ideas, possibilities, and options. Then I begin to ask even more questions; will this work? or can I eliminate one idea for a better one? Being curious expands my creativity and drives me to learn. Curiosity is not a stagnant experience. On the contrary, it propels us forward.
Inquisitiveness can also generate new relationships and deepen old ones. Most people like to talk about themselves if they know they have an audience that is genuinely interested in what they have to say. It might take one or two questions before they open themselves up, but when they do, you get a treasure trove of richness; their insights, their passions, and even perhaps their dreams and goals. You just don’t know what you might find unless you first inquire.
So why bother being curious? Our curiosity is a natural bent that, if we let it, leads us to phenomenal and profound ideas and people.